Search Results for: grammar

How important are grammar and spelling? Really?

Now that the mass media with its “newspeak” vocabulary has been part of our lives for several generations we really can’t afford to be pompous about spelling and grammar any more.

Even the stuffiest of academics has had to admit that stiffly formal writing is not clever; it’s boring. They may look down their noses at the language of popular websites, social media, blogs and so-on, but that’s the language nearly everyone speaks today.

article about spelling and grammarI won’t waste your time with my theories on why that has happened, but the bottom line is that English as a language has become simpler and less complex than it was 100 years ago.

And quite right, too. I’ve never understood why some people get so uppity about the fact that a language has evolved.

Well, you and I haven’t got time to mourn the relegation of Shakespearean English to the theatre, even if we want to. We’ve got work to do here and now, and these days we write as we speak.

“Writing as people speak” is not a cop out

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Why even one grammar mistake could cost you your new job

All you need is a recruiter or employer who has a bee in their bonnet about grammar, spelling, punctuation and so-on…if your CV/résumé contains one or more mistakes, you are toast.

writing tips from Suzan St Maur
So are your job prospects with that employer.

Unfair? [Read more…]

An English writing grammar fiend walks into a bar…

You may think you’ve heard all the jokes about ‘A xxxx walks into a bar,’ but I guarantee the majority of you won’t have heard all of the following. English language lovers will adore them and even grammar fiends and fascists might crack a smile.

horse in bar

A horse walks into a bar. “Why the long face?” asks the barman. “I’m a horse.”

I have tried to find the original author but it seems these have been circulating on the internet for some time so have become embedded in the ‘anonymous’ category as far as I know.

If any of you know otherwise, please let me know on suze@suzanstmaur.com and of course I will accredit the right people.

In the meantime I thank my good friend and fellow business networker Anne Bryant for flagging this up to me on my Facebook page

The ultimate writing about ‘walking into a bar’ – bar none

A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite. [Read more…]

Grammar: do you write ESTs when they should be ERs?

It’s not exactly the end of the world, but did you know if you only have two children you don’t have an ‘oldest’ or ‘eldest?’

writing tips
(Or a ‘youngest,’ for that matter.) Everyone today seems to forget that the suffix ‘est’ should only be used when writing/talking about more than two items, people, etc. If it’s just two, the suffix is ‘er.’ And by the way…

‘Elder-eldest’ or ‘older-oldest?’
According to Merriam Webster, ‘elder’ and ‘eldest’ are only
used to refer to persons, whereas ‘older’ and ‘oldest’ are
used to refer to both persons and things.
More on the
detail of that here if you’re interested! [Read more…]

54 grammar fumblerules to make you grin

Although we’ve looked at funny grammar rules before, here is an even more comprehensive list to give you some smiles!. Enjoy (and learn, of course…)

grammar article

I wonder how much grammar rules have changed since 1558– ?

Fumblerule? Whassat, Wikipedia?

To quote the Wikipedia oracle:

fumblerule is a rule of language or linguistic style, humorously written in such a way that it breaks this rule.[1] Fumblerules are a form of self-reference.
The science editor George L. Trigg published a list of such rules in 1979.[2] The term fumblerules was coined in a list of such rules compiled by William Safire on Sunday, 4 November 1979,[3][4] in his column “On Language” in the New York Times. Safire later authored a book titled Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage, which was reprinted in 2005 as How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar.

I love them already–

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My grammar is cr*ppy. Should I correct it as I go along, or leave that to later?

When you’re writing, do you correct any goofs as you go along, or do you go for it “hell for leather” and worry about cleaning up goofs later?
This is something that we writers argue about until blue in the face, but shouldn’t. Why? Everyone is different. (Yeah, that one.)

crappy-grammar-when-to-correct
The purists amongst us usually insist that you should not obstruct your creative flow in its initial stages with such banal things like grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax and so-on.

No, no, say those purists. You should free-write to get your creative “juices” working (yikes, how I hate that word – makes me think of molten perspiration pumping out body odour). Yuk.

So let’s start at the beginning… [Read more…]

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